Melbourne powerhouse Cash Savage and the Last Drinks have released their new album, So This Is Love, through Mistletone Records via Inertia (Australia/NZ) and Glitterhouse Records (Europe).
A pillar of Melbourne’s music and queer communities, Cash Savage has spent the past decade making tough and tender rock’n’roll with her colossal band, The Last Drinks: Joe White (guitar), Rene Mancuso (drums), Kat Mear (violin), Nick Finch (bass), Roshan Khozouei (keyboards), Dougal Shaw (guitar) and Ed Fraser (guitar). The Last Drinks have toured internationally with sound engineer Nao Anzai, who co-produced the album with Cash Savage and Nick Finch. Their legendary live shows are an overwhelming cacophony of emotion and sound, with magnetic frontwoman Cash Savage at the centre of the storm, exhorting the energies of The Last Drinks with mastery and panache. A cathartic, communal experience that refuses to give the audience an easy ethical bypass, but challenges listeners to ask themselves the hard questions and step up.
The theme of fragility runs through the album like a faultline. Fragile mental health, a fragile economy, the fragility of the environment and our personal relationships, all on the brink of collapse, threatening to crack under pressure; this is the fraught territory So This Is Love inhabits, and fearlessly explores. The opening three songs of the album flow into each other with increasing urgency, declaring the gravity of the situation. True to the album title, Cash Savage delves deep and with ferocious honesty into what love means to her, as a queer woman coming to terms with a marriage breakup and a mental breakdown. “All love will end, all love will change form”, Cash observes. “If you experience deep love, you don’t judge it as a failure if it doesn’t last. You can love someone after they die, you can love someone in a different way.” Romantic love, family love, the bonds of friendship, self-love and the affectionate intimacy of spending the night with someone are some of the forms that love takes, as the stories of So This Is Love unfold.
The shattering experience of depression is at the raw and tender heart of this album. Cash reflects on the bleak daily battles of mental health, and the struggles of a songwriter to be creative and “productive” amidst a backdrop of turmoil and despair. “I had to come to terms with the reality of mental fragility”, Cash recalls, “feeling the pressure to be there for my family, to create music and exist as I did before, and not coping at all. Depression is a human experience, but having not experienced it before, I had no idea how it infiltrates everything – your relationships, your self worth, your capacity to work and create. It’s definitely given me a new level of understanding about mental health and compassion for what people go through.”
The album was made in Melbourne with additional recording in a French château, Gîte St Nicolas à Verdelot, where the band bunked down at the end of last year’s European tour. “One of the greatest joys of my life”, Cash avows, “ is taking these songs that are incredibly personal to me and bringing them to The Last Drinks. I am so proud of this collection of creative humans I have brought together, who have so much love and respect for each other.”
Release: April 28th, 2023, Mistletone Records/Inertia